Dear Diary,

We’ve all seen her. The frazzled, working mom desperately seeking to rein in her kids, all the while dealing with an overwhelming, under-appreciating boss. She’s flustered. She’s overworked. And she’s miserable. While I’m sure that stereotype came from somewhere, contrary to popular belief, there are happy, working moms out there. I know, because I’m one of them–most of the time. And I think I’ve discovered why.

Here are Seven Secrets of Happy, Working Moms

1. They Understand the Meaning of Success

Happy, working moms understand that there is no cookie cutter definition of success. Merriam-Webster describes success one way, but experiences, values, wants and desires define success for happy, working moms. To me, success means impacting lives, changing the world and being home in time for dinner.

2. They Love Their Job

Work takes up the majority of our day. Imagine working in a toxic environment that breeds negativity, despair and miserableness. Happy working moms can’t and won’t do that. They understand that they cannot be their best selves if the majority of their week is spent being unhappy.

3. They Prioritize Self-Care

Happy working moms are self-care proponents and unapologetically so. For whatever reason, over time, society has come to accept the frazzled, overwhelmed working mom as law. Happy, working moms don’t use a busy schedule as an excuse not to pour into themselves. They get that they can best pour into others’ cups when theirs is completely full.

4. They Build Strong Support Systems

There is strength in asking for and utilizing the help that’s available. I lose no sleep over the fact that it is my husband’s responsibility to pick our daughter up from school every day. Afternoon pick up is just something that my work schedule does not allow. If the morning childcare staff wasn’t also the evening childcare staff, I’m sure they’d think that my daughter was motherless, because they would never see me. Happy, working moms have a very deep understanding and appreciation of the saying, It takes a village to raise a child.

5. They Identify Unbendables

Just like happy, working moms possess a great deal of flexibility, they also identify what things in their lives are unbendable. These are the things that no matter what, must be done, and there are no excuses as to why it will not happen. For example, there is a social worker at my job who will not take appointments after 4:30 p.m. under any circumstances. Her unbendable?She will have dinner with her two teenagers every evening. Since she doesn’t get to see them off to school in the morning, she makes sure she’s sees them at the dinner table. She lets them know that she loves them and will be there for them every evening.

6. They Outsource

Happy, working moms outsource. This could mean anything from hiring help to effectively discipline a terrible two year-old or plan the birthday party that’s been nagging them for the past 11 months. Happy, working moms realize that they can’t do everything. They’ve learned to play to their strengths and outsource their weaknesses–or just the stuff they don’t want to do.  It’s not bad parenting; it’s smart mothering!

7. They Embrace the Juggle

Happy, working moms have dispelled the myth of balance. And in doing so, they’ve embraced the idea of the juggle. There is no perfect mother, perfect employee and perfect person all at the same time, as the myth of balance would lead you to believe. There is, however, a constant manipulation of responsibilities to reach a certain goal–happiness. And even though it takes a little getting used to, the juggle can be so freeing.  Why? Because if you drop a ball, or two, somewhere, you can always pick it up and throw it back in the game.

Hey DFTM Fam–Are you a happy, working mom? What’s your secret?

About The Author

Millenial Mom/Senior Editor

Vaneese is a millenial mom raising a 5-year-old daughter in in Omaha, NE. She writes about working motherhood and the constant juggle of the position, none of which was in the job description or discussed in the interview. She loves being a mom, because she gets to laugh and learn daily, experience true, unconditional love and do the most important "work" ever--guiding and loving a tiny human. When not writing for DFTM, Vaneese blogs at Mommy Works A lot.

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